Feeds

EU thumbs nose at US with software patent proposals

High Hurdles

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The European Commission has released proposals for updating regulations regarding software patents that seem set to infuriate US software vendors.

The proposals from the European Union's policy body, which are designed to harmonize rules across member states, would set a standard that vendors will have to clear before they can secure a patent that is arguably much higher than that in the US.

Companies wishing to secure a patent on their software would be required to demonstrate their "invention" was more than just a "program as such" but actually made a "technical contribution to the state of the art".

Any claimed invention that was concerned solely with the nature of data or the way in which a particular application operated on data would not be liable for a patent under the proposals. The Commission's proposals also nix the possibility of computerizing a method or technique that was already known or the computer implementation of a business of similar method.

The proposal recognizes that this is a different approach to that taken in the US, where a patentable invention "must simply be within the technological arts" and "no specific technological contribution is needed." The Commission notes that the US approach has meant that "restrictions on patenting of business methods (apart from requirements of novelty and inventive step) are negligible."

While the proposals potentially offer a more rigorous regime for granting patents on software, they would not mean software would be open to piracy.

Software programs would still be protected under copyright law and the laws of confidentiality where appropriate, the Commission said.

Yesterday's proposals would still have to negotiate the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers before they can become law. No doubt the US business community would lobby hard to ensure that at the very least, the EU's patent regime was no more rigorous than the US'.

© ComputerWire.com. All rights reserved.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really
Windows NEIN skipped, tech preview due out on Wednesday
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.